In a step back from his record of supporting child transgender legislation, California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill Friday night that would have required parents to affirm their child’s gender identity in custody court battles, or risk losing custody. For Newsom,
California Bill AB957, passed on party lines, would require judges to consider whether parents affirmed a child’s gender or gender expression, as part of the decision determining the “health, safety, and welfare of the child.”
Newsom issued a statement late Friday night, which said, “This legislation would require a court, when determining the best interests of a child in a child custody or visitation proceeding, to consider, among other comprehensive factors, a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression.
“I appreciate the passion and values that led the author to introduce this bill. I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office.
“That said, I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate – in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic – legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply. Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities.”
Gavin is considered a likely Democrat replacement for President Joe Biden, who has waning poll numbers in his reelection bid for 2024.